Sanitation-Court grants Lagos application to enforce restriction of movement


A Federal High Court in Lagos has suspended the enforcement of a judgment which stopped the Lagos State Government from imposing movement restriction on citizens during the monthly sanitation exercise in the state.

By implication, anyone found moving between 7am and 10am on the last Saturday of the month, either on the state or federal roads in Lagos, while the sanitation exercise is being observed, would be liable to arrest.

According to Punch,the fresh order, made by Justice Mohammed Idris on Friday, put on hold the enforcement of a March 16, 2015 judgment nullifying the power of Lagos State and its agents to arrest anyone found moving during the sanitation exercise.

According to the judge, the March 16 judgment would not be enforced until the outcome of the appeal filed by Lagos State challenging the judgment.

The Lagos State Government, through its Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), had filed an application for a stay of execution, urging Idris to summarily suspend the enforcement of his judgment.

Idris had, on March 16, declared the movement restriction policy as illegal and a violation of sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution, which preserve the citizens’ right to personal liberty and freedom of movement.

Though, the judge did not overrule the sanitation exercise, he held that Lagos State and its agents lacked the legal backing to arrest or detain any citizen found moving during the exercise as there was currently no law to that effect.

“I have no doubt that the restrictions imposed on the movement of persons and sanctions meted out to those who breach them are clearly unsupportable in law and unjustified.“I must state loud and clear that the environmental sanitation exercise is not in itself unlawful, but what is unlawful and unconstitutional is the restriction imposed by the respondents during the exercise,” Idris had held.

Pedro further likened the movement restriction policy to what obtains during the general elections period, saying though he was not aware of any specific law that said movement must be frozen during elections, peculiar circumstances necessitated the policy.

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Sanitation-Court grants Lagos application to enforce restriction of movement
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